Originally Published: August 4, 2014 6:02 a.m.
Really, people? We need a new statute because folks can't simply police themselves at times in a park?
That's going to be the discussion today at the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors' meeting on Fair Street in Prescott, when revisions to the county courthouse plaza rules are considered.
Let's break this one down to its bare bones.
We live in a country that celebrates free speech and free expression, and the public plaza is a hugely popular gathering spot for just that, from religious solicitors and government protestors to other folks congregating downtown.
The problem seems to be that lines are being crossed, to the tune of about one call to Prescott police per week. That's a crazy amount of calls for typically, as PPD says, suspicious activities, public intoxication, loud and disruptive behavior or people protesting against government actions.
Like many laws, it's not so much sad that government needs to intervene on public gathering spots. It's ridiculous that people need laws in order to apply common sense, which they apparently lack.
No one wants bigger government, more laws or expanded Big Brother oversight.
If you ask us, what we don't want are even more people who are unable and unwilling to practice good civility. That has a much bigger impact on a community than government reach.
We don't want more laws and we especially don't want any infringement whatsoever on free speech and free expression in public places.
Is it so necessary to also say that we're entitled to quality time in a park?
We're certain that the wide majority of Prescottonians and downtown visitors understand right from wrong, understand respect for a personal right to hang out at a fantastic park undisturbed, and, well, just to generally behave themselves and not spoil an otherwise peaceful setting.
The key word being "peaceful."
More laws seem unnecessary.
You know what else seems unnecessary? Having to tell the small percentage to not behave like clods for reasons the rest of us easily get, not because of freedom of speech but because of common sense.
The police themselves would absolutely love to never have to be called to the plaza for people behaving badly as much as we would.
This isn't a test of enacting new laws or not. This is a test of enacting common sense among ourselves.